Sex Differences in Clinical Pain: A Multisample Study

  • Michael E. Robinson
  • Emily A. Wise
  • Joseph L. Riley III
  • James W. Atchison


A recent meta-analysis of the experimental pain literature revealed effect sizes of .55 for pain threshold and .57 for pain tolerance, indicating a moderate difference in pain perception between men and women, with women reporting an increased sensitivity to pain. The current study investigated the relationship between sex and clinical pain ratings, in patients seeking care at a tertiary care facility. Five samples of chronic pain patients were recruited from several diverse clinics associated with the University of Florida. Analyses of clinical pain ratings revealed similar effect sizes for all samples, ranging from −.07 to −.25, indicating small differences, with women reporting higher levels of clinical pain. This is the first paper to report effect sizes for differences in report of pain in samples of chronic pain patients presenting for treatment at a tertiary care facility.

chronic pain sex differences 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael E. Robinson
    • 1
  • Emily A. Wise
    • 1
  • Joseph L. Riley III
    • 1
    • 2
  • James W. Atchison
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, College of Health ProfessionsUniversity of FloridaGainesville
  2. 2.Claude Pepper Center for Research of Oral Health in Aging, College of DentistryUniversity of FloridaGainesville
  3. 3.Department of OrthopaedicsUniversity of FloridaGainesville

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